Cabinet approves 25 per cent hike in bus fares

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Dharamshala, Feb 22 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today approved 25 per cent hike in passenger fare in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses following recent hike in petrol and diesel by the Centre.

The Cabinet, which met with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in the chair, approved the passenger fares, which would be 92.5 paise per km per person in the hill areas and 59.38 paise per km per person in the plain areas.

Briefing mediapersons about the decisions, state Chief Secretary Ravi Dhingra said the hike in the bus fares would reduce the losses of the corporation by Rs 54 crore annually.

He said the hike would come in to force from the date of the notification, which would be released soon, and added that the HRTC liabilities alone were Rs 139 crore and this was much higher than the fare hike itself.

The HRTC has also been directed to increase its functioning by improving its efficiency in all the unites of the corporation, he added.

The Cabinet also approved the state's Excise Policy for this financial year and decided to continue with the individual vend/ unit based applications system for allotment of retail vends in the state.

However, existing retail licensees who had already committed themselves to the new condition of license fee and other levies would be given the option to apply for renewal, he said.

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